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Norma Winstone: Descansado - Songs For Films

Read "Descansado - Songs For Films" reviewed by John Ephland

Norma Winstone has had her current trio since 2001, long enough to have released five albums (four for ECM). Descansado, a celebration of cinema through the language of music, is that fourth CD, and it's a winner from start to finish. The album's title derives from a Armando Trovajoli composition, used in Italian director Vittorio De Sica's 1963 film Ieri, Oggi, Domani (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow). The group's rendition of this touching number is typically sublime. With bass clarinetist/soprano ...

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London Jazz Festival 2016

Read "London Jazz Festival 2016" reviewed by Duncan Heining

The London Jazz Festival, now in its 24th year, straddles the capital--its noble aim, as ever, is the provision of musical succour for the diverse tastes that make up the larger British jazz audience. You want mainstream, you'll find it. Looking for fusion, then look no further. Free jazz, bebop, blues? Step this way. Postjazz? Postjazz? I'm sure I saw it here somewhere. The first Sunday caught James Blood Ulmer at the East End's Rich Mix. Backed by ...

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Norma Winstone: Dance Without Answer

Read "Norma Winstone: Dance Without Answer" reviewed by John Kelman

If there's a single accomplishment that can be attributed to ECM Records--though there are, of course, many in its 45-year history--it's that it welcomes unusual instrumentation with open arms, affording such collaborations the opportunity to grow, to evolve, and build a new language. From the pan-cultural CODONA Trilogy (2009), which collected the three genre-defying recordings made in the late '70s/early '80s by Collin Walcott, Don Cherry and Nana Vasconcelos, to Jon Balke's Siwan (2009), which collected, amongst others, Fourth World ...

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Norma Winstone: Edge of Time

Read "Edge of Time" reviewed by Roger Farbey

This reissue features many of the most significant musicians in British jazz of the late 1960s and 70s. It also benefits from imaginative compositions and arrangements by John Taylor, John Warren, Neil Ardley, John Surman and Norma Winstone herself. The opening, title track written by Taylor and Winstone is a memorable exploration of both arrangement and improvisation in equal measure. A tentative beginning gives way to a dynamic brass arrangement accompanying a lyrical song, Winstone's voice ...

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Norma Winstone: Stories Yet to Tell

Read "Stories Yet to Tell" reviewed by John Kelman

Distances (ECM, 2008) wasn't British vocalist Norma Winstone's first release to feature her current trio of reedman Klaus Gesing and pianist Glauco Venier, but with ECM Records' greater exposure and reputation, it was the first to reach a broader international audience. With Distance a largely lyric-based alternative to Winstone's always lovely wordless vocals on Chamber Music (Universal, 2004), Stories Yet to Tell is a worthy successor to both, with even greater emphasis on Winstone the lyricist--she contributes to eight of ...

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Norma Winstone: Distances

Read "Distances" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Practice brings one closer to perfection. British singer Norma Winstone has enjoyed a very prolific 35-plus year career that has been divided among a number of recording labels. Her recordings with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler in the form of the group Azimuth brought her international exposure and recognition. These formats were the unusual combination of voice, piano, and either horn or reeds. This spare instrumentation and arrangement qualifies what Winstone does as chamber jazz.

On her first ECM release ...

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Norma Winstone, Glauco Venier and Klaus Gesing at Joe's Pub

Read "Norma Winstone, Glauco Venier and Klaus Gesing at Joe's Pub" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Norma Winstone at Joe's Pub, NYCJoe's PubNew York City, New YorkJune 26, 2008 Vocalist Norma Winstone came to Joe's Pub for two sets with her new trio composed of pianist Glauco Venier and reedman Klaus Gesing, supporting her release on ECM, Distances (2008). In front of a packed, enthusiastic, early-set house, the trio gave a mesmerizing performance that highlighted their strength as a unit, as well as each player's unique musical identity.

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Norma Winstone: Distances

Read "Distances" reviewed by Martin Gladu

Nostalgia is a good thing. Who has not experienced some sort of catharsis through the unexpected surging of special, tender memories? Time stops. An emotive film starts rolling inside the mind. One wanders back to a time when life was good...Those fortunate to have witnessed the magic between trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, pianist John Taylor and vocalist Norma Winstone may still cherish fond memories of the music they made from 1977 to 1995 for ECM under the Azimuth sobriquet.

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Norma Winstone: Distances

Read "Distances" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Listening to vocalist Norma Winstone's Distances is an entrancing experience. The concentration required to fully appreciate the music created by Winstone, Klaus Gesing (bass clarinet, soprano saxophone) and Glauco Venier (piano) is requested rather than demanded. The performances are intimate and delicate, while at the same time possessing a distilled strength, embracing both sound and words, neither taking precedence. The space of the recording is enveloping in its sparseness, and the trio's individual timbres, when blended with ...

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Norma Winstone: Distances

Read "Distances" reviewed by Andrew Velez

"Distance" opens this set in classic Winstone style. With music by pianist Glauco Venier, the singer's lyrics go to the heart of separation and distance in a relationship. Winstone is an instrumentalist singer, so even before one begins to get what the lyrics are actually saying, it's the total sound which moodily envelops the listener. The release of this, Winstone's first recording since 1998, is a genuine event and when listeners aren't hitting the repeat button it ought to send ...

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Norma Winstone: Distances

Read "Distances" reviewed by John Kelman

For some, the most intimate setting of choice is the duo. For Norma Winstone, while working in larger groups over the past five decades, her recorded history with ECM suggests that this British vocalist's preferred setting is the trio--specifically one with piano/keyboards and a wind or brass instrument. From the minimalism-meets- improvisation of Azimuth to the more overtly song-based Somewhere Called Home (ECM, 1987), Winstone has been the definition of subtlety. Capable of singing complex melodies that would challenge most ...

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Norma Winstone with the NDR Bigband: It's Later Than You Think

Read "It's Later Than You Think" reviewed by Bev Stapleton

The world of the hardened jazz fan has had little room for the “jazz singer" in recent times. Resentment at the popular and commercial success of certain well-known names has resulted in many listeners turning their backs completely on vocal jazz--which is a pity, as they will miss out on enthralling musicians like Norma Winstone. Winstone has been a major figure on the British scene since the 1960s. She cut her teeth with the ensembles of Michael ...